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Intel Report: Join the True Romance:
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Life lessons from Robert A Heinlein Sarging in Sweden
These days I am thinking about Movie-
Feeling. What's that? It's yet another
one of those internal-jargon things you
get in a circle of friends who are too
smart and too bored.
So it is thus that we turn to movies
and TV for guidance, inspiration and
escapism. Enter the concept of Movie-
Feeling, or MF as we like to call it. In
short: life is boredom, the movies are
MF is those rare moments when the
worlds cross over and you find your-
self the protagonist of a cheesy 8Ds
flick, like some kind of Ferriss Conan.
Sweden has its qwh MF of course, but it's the
wrong kind. Dn the gDad days, it's Social Realism,
on the bad days it's staring Qver at grinning Death
over a game of chess.
Nd, it has to be Hollywood.
We devour that shit. We like it all, though the 80s al-
ways show us a particulary good time. As long as
it offers an uplifting, romantic, and heroic sense of
life where Man is a capable agent in a benevolent
wkatg on t/t& (Hind ok oar Mowd Leader t/wge daus? Listen up/
feel inq or give me
"Oh the, pood daps, its
Social Rea&sm, on the, Sad
daps its staring over at
/Httto Death owr a
pome of obese.
Universe - quoth the Rand - then we are
game. The purest strain of MR oddly enough, is
mined from college and high school flicks.
Don't ask me why, the empirical data is sound
but no one has a grand unified theory yet. It's
like quantum physics, if you ask too many
questions the answer travels back in time and
screws your grandmother and jams up your
But why are we acting like teenage girls, con-
stantly chatting about vapid American pop
culture like it was equal to the Great Philoso-
phers that we read when were younger and
I mean, these friends of mine are big burly
powerlifters with military backgrounds and
most of 'em hardcore misanthropes, cynics
They may like teenage girls, but that's an-
I'm guessing it's a reaction to Sweden.
Take the most Social Realist thing you can
think of and you probably get a Swedish
movie with no background music about bor-
ing people bickering over trivial shit and
never going somewhere with their lives.
All this happens while grey sludge is pour-
ing down from the perennially-overcast sky,
the only thing colder than your Volvo is the
people around you, and you get like 3 cents
out of your paycheck when taxes and the
obligatory alcoholic painkillers for the soul
are paid for.
What's the inverse of that? My take on it:
the sway of palms, just the right 80s tune on
the FM, a clever dialog tree peppered with
quips referencing pop-culture, adventures
aplenty just around the corner, and the lus-
cious warm breeze in your face as you cruise
down the IDI with your kick-ass posse of hawt
babes and idiosyncratic yet loyal friends. And
vampires. Dh yes, vampires.
Would that I could teleport myself to the
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Living in this modern world of cell phones and blackberries, GPS systems and talk-
ing cars, it is easy to ignore the "Things That Have Come Before." The deeds, the
fights... even the tools. A wood-handled pocketknife, a metal flask, a steel revolver
- these were the blackberries and PDA's of the past, these were the things that a
man couldn't leave the house without.
It was a different world, of course; much less politically correct, much more vi-
olent, and without the room for the bullshit and whining that we have now. It was
simpler then: those who did not work, starved. Those who did not build, froze. Those
who would not fight, died.
As a newspaper reporter, my job revolves
around History. It's very nearly impossible
to write about something happening now
without knowing the history of what hap-
pened before, be it a sewer plan or a road
improvement. But we, as a people, overlook
that history far too much.
The town I cover is a small one in the
northern section of New Jersey. It isn't
known for much, and doesn't contain the
rich and famous or the upper
echelon of the state - but it does have his-
tory. So much, that sometimes I feel that
it rises up and floods the streets, as if one
could not walk down the main thoroughfare
without seeing the ghosts rise, without
watching, through some hole in time, the
rolling fields and rocky slopes long since
demolished and developed.
The road that leads down the center of the
town dates to the before the Revolution. It
was heavily valued because it ran from the
banks of a main river, all the way up to a
road that led to the mountainous areas in
northern part of the state. During the War
for Independence, that mountain road was
major road that wasn't controlled by the
British, thus making this small, seemingly
insignificant turnpike invaluable for the
In this town, where a school now sits,
Washington's troops once slept; all those
centuries ago, there were lines of white
tents filled with hungry, battle-torn troops
trying to forge a country. In the mornings,
they made the groans and grunts of an
army as it awakes, made coffee in the
predawn hours; in the evenings, they
played cards around a fire or wrote letters
home. Which ones would die at lunch... that
was for History to decide.
It is rumored that Washington himself once
attended services at a white church a few
"it was a different world, of course;
much less politically correct, much more violent,
avid without the room, for the bullshit
avid whitA,iiA,g that we have viow."
hundred yards up from the site where his
troops slept. It is hard tD lank at those floor-
boards and imagine the boots of the great
general crunching over them once so long
ago; sometimes it's hard to believe the man
himself was real at all, and not just some
mythical figure created so kids have some-
one to read about in the third grade. Some
of those veterans of the Revolution are
buried in that church's cemetery, which is
also a final home for several Civil War vet-
erans- even a Medal of Honor winner. They
sit under tilted, barely legible headstones
that vainly try to name the hero who lies be-
Some miles to the south, at the intersection
of two major rivers, sit two bridges that con-
nect towns and counties. They are open to
car traffic now, and the river is murky and
polluted. Dnce though, it was clear, pristine...
the sites where the bridges are found are
said to be old Indian fords for the tribes that
lived along its banks.
Some miles to the north, another main road
runs through a mountain pass. Even though
thousands use it every day for their com-
mutes, few know that the road there exists
for the simple reason that it is the only way
to get through the hills that form the begin-
nings of the Appalachians. Dnce, there was a
fort that was designed to keep the Indians
out of the plains below, where the first white
settlers were gathering.
Now, all you can see is a small blue sign along
the road that denotes that the fort once ex-
isted, as no footprint remains. By that sign,
there is a closed down bar, an overpass for
the highway, and tattered white houses with
American flags on the porch.
I'm not saying that people should kno
thing... if they did, I'd have nothing
about. But they should stop and taki
ing glance every once in a while
these places as they once were. I
through the lens that history has
, and don't forget the monumenta
people no different than us ace
Look at a topographical map,
and see why things were built
the way they were- the land
tells a story that you'd have
missed otherwise. And if noth-
ing else, it will put our own
lives, our own time, in per-
spective, and tell us to enjoy
those fleeting moments that
we so oft look past.
take a pass-
d ■ i
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i 1 ^^
Release: June 2, 2DD9
So, you are probably asking yourself what you
should expect from a book called Eat fight? You
are probably wondering what it's about and if
you should check it out. Well, I have checked it
out and all I can say after reading it is: don't
pay too much attention to the title! In fact, I
can't even thinkof a suitable title for a book like
this.To illustrate my point: here is a phone mes-
sage that the author and former UFC Light
Heavyweight Champion Forrest Griffin left for
his editor on New Year's Eve 2009 (they sus-
pect alcohol was involved), which was included
in the beginning of the book:
"I hate ta beat a daad harse but yau saund like
a waman an yaur fucking little answering ma-
chine there. This is Farrest Griffin, as yau can
tell I'm fram fuckin' Eeargia - nut just Eeargia,
FUEKIN' Eeargia. 'Eat Fight?' is nat a gaad title
far me. Leak, the whale 'Eat Milk?' thing was
1334. I actually Eaagled that shit. Nineteen
ninety fuckin' faur. It's mare than a decade
past brather, so. uh, we're gaing ta came up
with a new title and yau re gaing ta develap a
manly vaice like mine [dark raspy laugh]. "
the 50 Zen principles of b^n4-
to-fece combat by Forrest Griffin
But apparently, they weren't able to come up
with a better title. The book is called Got
Fight? TtiE 50 Zen principles of Hand-to-FacE
Combat Don't worry about it, it's just a title.
They had to call it something. But what's it
about? Well, even though you get to learn a
little about Forrest Griffin's life it's not really
an autobiography. This book pays more at-
tention to disturbing anecdotes than personal
milestones. And even though you get a lot of
useful tips, it's not really a guide to anything
in particular. And I'm sorry to say that there
are no 5D Zen principles listed between the
covers. This book is simply what happens
when you give Forrest Griffin a pen and some
paper and leave for a while.
It starts with a short quiz, designed to test
your manliness and determine if you are
worthy of reading the thing. However, there
are two problems with this test. First off, I'm
not really sure that you want to pass the test.
I got a pretty good score, and it just made
me kind of worried about myself.
The second problem is that the only benefit
you get for passing the test is being allowed
to read this book in public. Actually, there is
nothing stopping you from reading it in pub-
lic, worthy or not, Forrest is probably too
busy cutting weight and playing with guns to
punish you. But reading a book like this in
public is kind of like wearing an "Affliction"
or "TapDut" t-shirt. If you don't already know
why it's a bad idea, you really need to read
What follows after the test is a journey into
Forrest Griffin's mind. And it truly is a beau-
tiful and fascinating mind he has underneath
those layers of scar tissue and badly cut hair.
He goes through the social, mental and phys-
ical aspects of fighting and mixed martial
arts, as well as giving tons of random tips on
life, dating, pop-culture and being a gentle-
man. Make no mistake, Forrest Griffin is a
true gentleman. As you may expect, this book
is full of foul language and disgusting stories
from Forrest's life. It might be considered
crude by some, but so is Miyamoto Musashi's
Book of FivE Rings.
Forrest says that ha expects
his booktD only make the
reader dumber. But I feel kind
of enlightened after reading it.
I consider this book an essay on the art of
not taking yourself too seriously. When you
read it, you will understand why Forrest Grif-
fin is one of the most popular MMA-fighters in
the world. With self-deprecating humor he
manages to entertain the reader, give a lot of
useful tips and express his personality with-
out seeming pretentious in any way. He ex-
plains a lot about his personal outlook on his
life and career. And I truly admire his rea-
soning. He describes a lot of intriguing ways
to develop mental toughness and avoid per-
formance anxiety. The author talks a lot
about toughness and manliness, but not in a
way that weakens you by attaching tons of
macho bullshit to your ego. Forrest says that
he expects his book to only make the reader
dumber. But I feel kind of enlightened after
The best things about this book are the philo-
sophical and mental aspects and the enter-
tainment value, but the basic tips on fighting
and training that Forrest shares with the
reader are pretty good. You also get an in-
side look into the world of mixed martial arts
from the perspective of one of the most
unique and fascinating personalities in the
sport. And you get to take a peek into the
mind of a true fighter. To really appreciate
it, I think you have to be pretty down to earth
and have a true understanding of humor, be-
cause even if it may appear as gross, re-
tarded jock-humor at a first glance, most of
it is really clever. It's not exactly the best
book I have ever read, but it is without a
doubt the funniest. It feels shorter than it re-
ally is, but I felt that it was remarkably re-
warding for such a light read. I'm not sure if
everyone will enjoy this book as much as I
did. Even if I would recommend basically any-
one to go and check it out, I believe that it will
appeal mostly to young men in general and
fans of martial arts in particular. Whoever
you may be, if you feel tempted to buy it I can
almost guarantee that you won't be disap-
ffcf if si* ■, , Bi lfimM i
text SUSAN KUCHINSKAS
Low f$ tke water ok offa
drin/o it down with, mart and $oao/
Rumi, Divan of Shams nf Tabriz
Science ruins everything.
Unveiling the mystery reveals the
pedestrian beneath, and lave is no
It turns nut that love, that other con-
summation devoutly to be wished, is
just a twitch of your brain.
Think of your brain as The Blob, DDzing chem-
icals sd strong they can take the paint off a
car, and you won't be wrong. The ebb and
flow of these chemicals in the ooze creates
the emotions that drive us: Dopamine basi-
cally keeps us alive. It is the chemical of re-
ward-seeking, impelling us at the most basic
level to eat and fuck. (At the most sophisti-
cated level, it's what makes playing Halo 3 so
much fun, and it makes inventing new bombs
or the cure for cancer seem like they're
worth doing.) There's Cortisol, the chemical
that jacks you up enough to get out of bed in
the morning so you can go find food or a cure
for cancer. Norepinephrine gives us bursts
of speed to escape tigers, and serotonin
helps us chill. And there's oxytocin, the chemi-
cal that keeps us from running in terror from
our fellow human beings.
Applied to human relationships, dopamine is
the neurochemical of mate-seeking, while
oxytocin is the chemical of mate-having, in
other words, monogamy. Think of dopamine
as the chemical of emotional desire and oxy-
tocin as the chemical of emotional satisfac-
When you look at it this way, love becomes
dead simple. When the hypothalamus, a
chemical factory in the center of the brain,
releases oxytocin, it calms down the amyg-
dala, the part of the brain that handles fear;
it also makes you feel good about someone
else. Good enough to give a street person
some coin, good enough to hang out with
someone for days, good enough to offer your
body and soul to that person.
Hypothalamus -> brain -> love.
It's that simple.
If this seems mechanistic, it gets worse. Love
is a conditioned response. Just like Pavlov's
dogs learned to salivate when he rang a bell,
we learn to release DxytDcin in response to
whatever kind of attention we get as babies.
If you're lucky, you learn vanilla love - your
brain releases oxytocin when you're close to
someone you can trust, someone who loves
you back. Unfortunately, if you're raised by
the human equivalent of hyenas, you may
never develop the oxytocin response at all.
Dr you may only feel the oxytocin rush with
people who are mean or cold or evil.
Why should something as important as the
ability to love be left to the vagaries of par-
enting? Shouldn't this be as hardwired as
digestion or respiration?
Evidently, it was more adaptive - that is, a
baby had a better chance of surviving to pass
on its genes - if his parents liked him. I'm
using like as opposed to love to differentiate
the experience of being comfortable with
someone from that of having a deep oxytocin
bond with him. Cold or anxious parents might
have a harder time dealing with a sunny,
happy child, for example, so nature arranged
things so that our brains would keep devel-
oping after birth, allowing us to adapt emo-
tionally to whatever the family's emotional
To get anthropomorphic, nature didn't de-
sign us to love, she designed us for just one
All the good stuff - romance, orgasm, cud-
dling - is just bribes, nature's sneaky ways
of getting sperm near egg as often as possi-
ble. But there's more to this plan. While most
animals get together, dpap a clutch or litter,
and move on, human babies stay weak and
defenseless for years. In fact, our brains
don't reach their full size for at least three
years. This lets us be the smartest animals
on Earth, because our proportionally big
brains don't have to squeeze through the
birth canal. But it meant that, pre-civilization,
a baby really needed two parents to increase
the chances it would survive.
Enter lave. Enter oxytocin.
While procreation is nature's end game, love
helps make sure it happens. When a couple
loves each other, they're more likely to stick
by that pink, squirmy baby.
There's another kind of oxytocin response
that's stronger and more automatic than the
burst we get from trusting social inter-
actions. Sex floods the body and the brain
with oxytocin in a mechanism that seems to
be separate from the learned
response - separate and
much more powerful.
Sex connects the brain
and the genitals via the
vagus nerve, the pathway
between the brain and bod-
ily sensations. Dxytocin
traveling back and forth
between the body and the
brain creates an oxytocin
experience that feels
more profound and more
This is why, when we fall
in love, we feel like we
never knew what love
was before. It is indeed a
Nature's idea was that this profound experi-
ence would keep a couple having lots of sex
and lots of babies. Maybe a few of the babies
would survive the rigors of living in the wild.
The recent discovery of ArdipittiEcus
ramidus, at 4.4 million-years old the oldest
human, showed that even then, while we
scrambled through the trees using all four
limbs, monogamy and cooperative child rear-
ing had replaced the chimpanzee method of
a dominant male spreading his sperm as
widely as possible.
ArdipittiEcus males had smaller canines,
smaller testicles and smoother penises, in-
dicating that they didn't need to fight for ac-
cess to females. Females didn't flaunt the
swollen vulva that made it clear when they
were ovulating, making it necessary for her
mate to stay with her to make sure he im-
In today's world, making enough babies is not
a problem, and, for a large proportion of the
world's population, keeping them alive isn't
as hard as it used to be. Yet that urge to pro-
create, which we experience as the urge to
fall in love, is just as strong. When that urge
is uncoupled from marriage and childrear-
ing, we run wild with romance, the mate-
seeking part of the equation. The oxytocin
released during sex may make us fall in love,
but without a strong oxytocin response in the
brain, we can't experience the emotional sat-
isfaction that lets us stay together.
"Romantic Iove, in the fullsEnsE of the term,
is an Emotion possibls only to the man (or
woman) ofonbrEactiEd sslf-EstEEm: it is his
rssponsE to his own highsst valoss in the
psrson ofanothar - an integrated response
of mind and body, of Iove and saxoal desire.
Soch a man (or woman) is i neap a bis of ex-
pEriEncing a saxoal dssirs divorced from
spiritoal valoss. "
Ayn Rand, Of Living Death
The jones for sex remains as strong as it was
when we swung from trees. And mate seek-
ing has become so highly evolved that we
have completely lost touch with any biologi-
cal reality. Maybe that's a good thing. After
all, it's the hallmark of humans to transcend
biology. Thus we have the altruist who sacri-
fices himself for the greater good, the
woman who loves an adopted child as much
as a biological one, the Buddhist nun who
renounces sex and love and all that to con-
tinually pray for world peace. But we also
have the pickup artist, who's gamed the
mate-seeking mechanisms in order to entice
females into accepting his seed without any
prospect of reciprocating contribution, as
well as his female counterpart, the dinner
whore - who, despite the moniker, does not
trade sex for sustenance.
"And if I havE prophEtic powers, and onder-
stand all mystsriss and all knowlsdgE, and if
I have all faith, so as to ramova moontains,
hot have not lova, I am nothing. "
1 Corinthians 13:2, the Bible
Some people find this stuff deeply scary. If
human emotion can be reduced to a combo of
chemicals, what's the point?
C.S. Lewis wrote an entire tome, The Poor
Loves, for which he is much beloved. The book
slices human regard into four flavors: Storge
find this stuff
deeply scary. If
can be reduced
to a combo of
is familial love; philia is the love between
friends; Eros is the passionate love for a
mate; and agape is charity, that is, love for
your fellow man without necessarily having
a relationship. Lewis, a Christian, goes on at
length about each of these, giving examples
and heart-warming descriptions. In fact,
most people, when pressed, would say that
it's love in all these forms that makes life
The philosophy of ontological reduction would
note that storge, philia and agape are all the
result of oxytocin affecting the social cen-
ters of the brain, while eros, or mate-seek-
ing, is more closely related to food-seeking.
In other words, it's all physical. Moreover,
that reductionist would add that they can all
be traced to adaptation - behaviors that
make it more likely that the organism will
Well, you ask, if it's all physical, then why
should I admire that Buddhist nun or crave a
soul-mate? If I'm simply the sum of my chem-
ical reactions, what's the point of trying to
Dne of the great insights of post-modernism
was that there is no one correct point of
view, no universal meaning, no real truth.
So, looking at the chemical basis of love may
be a valuable framework for understanding
emotion. Dr not. There are plenty of other
frameworks you can use, from rational self-
interest to romanticism. Pick your poison.
"If falsa torns oot to bs troE
Yoo know that I will find yoo
BEcaosE oor Iove is destiny
Jonas Brothers, Infatuation
Is biology destiny? What if you don't want to
play out a 4.4-million-year-old script? Be
cool. Even among the simplest of mammals,
there's wide variation in mating behaviors.
For example, among the prairie voles, the ro-
dents that first revealed oxytocin's influence
on monogamy, as much as 4D percent of
males never form a pair bond. Instead, they
wander around and copulate with females
when their mates are off gathering seeds.
This seems to be nature's way of hedging her
bet on monogamy as the best way to ensure
survival of the species.
If you have no desire to settle down and pro-
create, or even to go steady, just give a
salute to the prairie vole philanderers and
move on. Dn the other hand, if you're one of
us poor saps who craves love and connec-
tion, you can give a shout-out to the major-
ity of prairie voles, which spend most of their
waking hours pressed up against each other
as close as they can get.
Lucky prairie voles. We can assume that if
they're inclined to mate, they'll find a mate.
Whereas the human journey to love can have
more pitfalls than an olive cannery. Can you
change your love life by tweaking your brain
chemistry? We say yes.
Biology is only part of our destiny. Dr rather,
the neurochemistry of love is only one part of
our chemical arsenal. Dur wills may be highly
influenced by brain chemistry but they also
can influence it. So mix your own chemical
cocktail. If you don't like the kind of love
you're getting, use that free will to change
things up inside and out.
Man has been hacking Mother Nature and her
neurochemical programming since the first
Neanderthal got high on fermented berries.
It's not hard at all to get an oxytocin buzz.
MDMA, aka ecstasy, releases oxytocin into
the brain. When club kids feel the love, it's
real love. Shrinks are experimenting with
using MDMA to help people with PTSD to con-
nect with the world again, and they're using
pure oxytocin inhalants to help people with
autism and social anxiety disorder to do the
same. In fact, you can buy oxytocin inhalants
on the internet, although it's doubtful
whether they contain enough stable oxytocin
to do anything.
Dosing yourself is probably not the best idea,
at least not for the long term. Ecstasy
burnout is an accepted phenomenon in the
Oxytocin, the chemical
that keeps us from
running in terror
from our fellow
rave community, and it seems to be the re-
sult of receptors in the brain becoming less
sensitive. Long-term administration of hor-
mones in general tends reduce the body's
natural production, and doctors warn that
oxytocin dosing could, over time, actually de-
crease our own supply.
If you've got more patience, there are plenty
of physiological hacks that can train your
brain to produce oxytocin in positive cir-
cumstances. If people are scary, try getting
to know a dog. Taking care of a sick spouse
has been shown to increase oxytocin levels,
so volunteering with an org that helps oth-
ers should work. Singing in a choir or chant-
ing with other people lets you get in synch
without getting too personal. If these activi-
ties seem unbearably corny, you probably do
need more oxytocin in your life, so just get
over it. In fact, corny is practically an alter-
nate definition for the oxytocin experience.
Due fascinating and non-corny option is One-
Taste (www.onetaste.us), an organization
that combines Buddhist mindfulness with
tantra in what they call orgasmic meditation,
or DMing. The orgasm from DMing seems to
be more oxytocin-based, as opposed to the
dopamine based, tension/release orgasm
You may have noticed a theme here: These
are all things you have to do. Reading books
or trying to figure out why you're lousy at
love won't work, just like thinking about get-
ting strong won't get you there.
Another corny aphorism: "Love is a verb."
Well, it's true. Now, get out there and touch
Drat least some thing.
Susan Kuchinskas is the author of The Chem-
istry of Connection: Haw the oxytocin re-
sponse can help you find trust, intimacy and
She doesn't think this stuff is scary or
m ^hak - , r mtm m\. jao f - .n
» "* ^M^_ — ^ ^M ^^Pm^H
*_.." _ ^T <<^;
If Tim Ferriss is Dur personal Jesus and SchwarzEneggEr Dur Father in Heaven,
then Sean Kennedy (The Fucking Man) surely ranks as Dne of the greater saints.
I remember stumbling across his TV sIidw Patrolling in 2DD7 and being blown
away by his clarity and unique syncretistic mix of survivalism, self-imprDvement,
hacker ethos and cyberpunk fingErspitzEngefuhl.
Dne of my strict traditions since then has been to tune in to his weekly news pro-
gram, aptly named Newsreal, giving us the news we need to survive in the cyber-
punk world of today. He's also written several books, run a successful cult, and
directed a short movie.
His long-term plans include building a paramilitary compound on some deserted
island, starting up a gladiator school for furries, being the first archaeologist on
Mars, and becoming a famous dinosaur hunter.
Here's a recent interview I did with him and his trusty side-kick James
First off is Sean.
Give us a brief summary of yourself
and your activities with Rantmedia
ever the years.
Well, in 1999 I picked up a microphone and
started broadcasting comedy, just for laughs
really. Really crass stuff back then, nothing
like the stuff you find now though, I mean it's
WAY more extreme than the stuff we talked
about, most of the details you can find on
Wikipedia as to the "accomplishments" and
Rantmedia is a bit ever ID years new.
How did you get started with it?
When Shoutcast came out, James started to
broadcast. I was funny to talk to so he roped
me into it. That's it really.
Hdw has the cere values and mission
statements evolved ever the years?
We are still true to what we told Wired mag-
azine. We are about taking over the world
with giant robots and genetically engineered
two headed cats. Seriously, the "core values
and mission statements" are about staying
alive, free, and not being a slave to someone
who has a choke hold on your media. Each
of us value different things, but wogs have an
understanding of cool, being function over
form, but this creates its own industrial/
tactical form depending on the nature of its
Hdw have you grown as a person
during the last ID years?
I have grown in every conceivable way. There
is no metric that can be applied to this.
How did you come up with Newsreal
I made it up. I see ideas in my head, they look
doable, so I do them, consequences be
What is a Wog?
How did you come up with the concept?
Driginally it was an anti-Scientology thing.
I have been screaming about that cult since
the turn of the century. Back then no one
knew them, so I did it to educate people about
them sd at least none of the Rant people
would be sucked in. It's like calling sameQne
an infidel. After that, it tank du a life nf its
own. Ydu could call it "Kaizen" (improvement)
with a cyberpunk twist.
What is your long-term agenda far
the Wags? Haw will yau mobilize them?
That would be telling. Honestly though, no one
mobilizes or leads Wogs; they lead and mobi-
What things in the world
excite you these days?
Technology is pretty hot, and space travel is
also hot, but they are kind of the same thing.
Also, robotics is pretty dead sexy as well, but
again that's technology. What can I say, I'm
big on tech.
What things in the world
scare you these days?
The only thing that scares me is being help-
less, unable to affect my environment. Prob-
ably part of the reason that I do Newsreal
has something to do with that. Being a horror
\ -it A
- i.1 •
writer, I'm cool with wicked clowns and
creaky houses for the most part.
When can we expect Patrolling Season 3?
What is the general theme of the season?
Nobody EXPECTS Patrolling. Dur main
weapons are fear, surprise, ruthless effi-
ciency... and a fanatical devotion to Server.
Tell us about the book you are writing.
It's a big Afternow novel that's set in and
around Las Vegas, sometime within the next
With Patrolling now airing on
certain satellite stations, do you
have anything you would want to
say to all the new viewers and Wogs
who are just discovering Rant?
Not really, no. I mean, I'm happy that they are
there and all, but Patrolling is what it is. It's
the same for a million people or just one.
I will say I am surprised so many people like
it, I only thought a few North-Americans
would like it. I mean... it's very humbling.
How do you keep yourself psyched up
to work on Rant projects? Do you
ever get bored?
Well, Rant projects are my projects. If I'm not
psyched, I don't do them. I've always wanted
to be a writer, and luckily I have created a
world that people like.
"Dur main weapons are fear, surprise, ruthless
efficiency... and a fanatical devotion to
Ydu are always telling people to "cert up".
What fields should one check out?
I would say any field that holds your interest
where you can get paid to dD them. It's hard
to do work you're not interested in; but it's a
really good idea to get SDme kind of a trade
that is in demand. Generally I like tech
trades; because it's better to work with your
head than your hands.
What can people do to level up in
the areas of personal development,
productivity, time management,
people skills, etc?
READ. No lie, almost all of the answers to
life's questions can be found in the library.
Why do Wogs in the world seem to be
clustered around Canada and Sweden?
I don't think this is true. I get mail from all
over the world. But that said, countries have
to be online and fairly free, as well as Eng-
lish speaking; so that narrows it down alot.
What are some tips you have for
aspiring writers? How does one
get good at writing?
You read alot, and write alot. And you write a
chunk of words a day. I try to write 2K a day,
5 days a week. Learn to play pen and paper
role playing games for story and character
development. Stephen King probably wrote
the best book on writing called On Writing.
It's the only book of his I like.
Tell us about Cybudic Philosophy.
What is it?
(Sigh) Cybudic Philosophy is incomplete.
It was an idea I was rolling around inside my
head and I almost published some really bad
ideas, but luckily a friend stopped me from
going in the wrong direction and it remains
an incomplete work. What it is, is an intro-
duction to a problem i haven't figured out the
solution for... yet.
What are your thoughts on Tim Ferriss?
Don't know the man. Haven't read his stuff.
Tell us about Rantmedia's marketing
strategies in general, and social media
and Internet marketing in particular.
There is no strategy, we tell the truth, we
believe in free open information, and that
thought crimes do not exist.
What is your stance on guns?
I like guns. All you have to do in history is look
back and you will find it easy to find the
slaves from the free people. The slaves don't
And new, ever to Cimm.
Give us a brief summary of yourself and
your activities with Rantmedia over the
My name is James D'Brien (aka Cimmerian)
and I am the founder and owner of Rant-
Media. I wear many hats when working on the
projects in RantMedia including cinematog-
rapher, director, producer, editor, station
manager, webmaster and even talk show
Rantmedia is a bit over ID years now.
How did you get started with it?
How has the core values and mission
statements evolved over the years?
When RantMedia was started over ten years
ago it was more of an experiment in pirate
radio broadcasting. I had always wanted to
have a radio station growing up. Before I was
a teenager I used to perform fake talk shows
with my sister recording them onto cas-
settes. I also used to slowly scan the AM and
FM radio dials at night for distant and weird
sounding stations. The radio station idea
was renewed in my head when I watched the
movie Pump Up The VolumE for the first time.
That idea was unfortunately extinguished
after finding out how much money it took to
set up even the smallest low powered sta-
tion. But, at the end of 1998, Nullsoft released
Shoutcast and shortly after I had the first
RantMedia radio station up and running. Dver
ten years later, the station is running and I'm
still doing talk shows every week.
I feel that the core values of Rant haven't
changed over the years. We still provide a
platform for new ideas and opportunities for
artists to show their talents. If anything
we've grown this idea by expanding out from
radio into TV, films, books, and magazines as
How have you grown as a person
during the last ID years?
I'm sure I've grown in some ways but it's
hard to compare myself to ten years ago
since any changes would have been so grad-
ual over that time. I'd like to think of myself
as more thought out in my writing and
speech, which is something that just comes
naturally through repetition and being in the
Where do you see yourself
and Rantmedia in ID years?
I see myself being creative with RantMedia in
ten years. I'm always aiming for something
that seems out of reach but can easily be
achieved through methodical breakdown of
large obstacles into smaller ones.
Name 5 persons you would like to hang
nut with and became friends with.
It's hard to pick specific people but I always
seem drawn to energetic creative people.
What things in the world
excite you these days?
Technology always excites me, things like
small advancements in user interface or the
mix of two seemingly unrelated ideas to com-
bine into something new and revolutionary.
What things in the world
scare you these days?
Dur continuing loss of control over our cul-
ture, freedom and privacy by corporate in-
Name your biggest influences.
Bill Watterson and Jello Biafra. They are two
examples of people who never compromised
their artistic integrity for the sole sake of
What would you do if you had a billion dollars?
I'd be doing the exact same thing, only more
of it and better funded.
Tell us about Porn on Beta.
Porn on Beta is a electronic musical project
in which I sing vocals. We've released two
albums and are working on a third. It has
taken a back seat lately to other projects but
I've always been musical and can't seem to
shake the habit. Just like all the RantMedia
projects, Porn on Beta's music is released
under a Creative Commons license.
Do you view Rant projects as a business
venture, or more of a hobby?
Where would you draw the line
between the two?
Rant started as a hobby ten years ago as
something that friends would get together
and do for fun. Now that we've been doing
this for a while, achieving loftier goals with
"We ore about taking over the world
will glut robots and genetically eigineerei two headed tats"
more Elaborate projects sometimes needs
money so it has turned into more of a busi-
ness in order to support that.
Luckily the projects that we choose are
our own so it's never a dull moment and
doesn't seem like a chore to work on the
things we do.
With Patrolling now airing an certain
satellite stations, do you have anything
you would want to say to all the new
viewers and Wogs who are just discov-
Dur projects usually speak for themselves
and what they say for themselves is usu-
ally pretty crazy but entertaining.
What is your goal in life,
your master plan?
My goal in life to do more of the same,
except bigger and better!
How do you keep yourself psyched up
to work on Rant projects?
Do you ever get bored?
It's never really a boring time working on
Rant projects. There's usually half a dozen
projects on the go at the same time so we
can always dedicate a little more time to
another project if one becomes over-
whelming. We always try to challenge our-
selves with our projects so not only can we
keep the quality up but so we can keep our-
selves on our toes.
Why do Wogs in the world seem to be
clustered around Canada and Sweden?
Well, it might appear that way, but the
majority of our fans are distributed quite
evenly by percentage of population of Eng-
lish speaking citizens by country. The ma-
jority of our fans come from the USA but
I can only venture a guess that Canadian
and Swedish fans stick out more because
they might appear more vocal?
This is the first of a series of Intel reports that we are going to be doing. We want to dis-
seminate information on current topics that may not have had much exposure in the An-
glosphere. Dbscure enough to be fresh, yet relevant enough to be interesting. If you have
any ideas, send them in to email@example.com.
For the first installment, we decided to dig where we stand, and penetrate the Scandinavian
survivalist underground. If a movie were made about Scandinavian survivalists, I'm sure it
would feature two-headed mutant moose, a colony of flesh-eating bikini team bikers, and it
would probably be called Mad Axe: Beyond Ikeadome or I Am Lagom* or something like that.
In order to do research we had to reach out to a bunch of crazy misfits and weirdos and reg-
ister on obscure Internet boards. Strangely enough, we already seemed to have high post
counts on these fringe boards and be on a first-name basis with these underground crazies...
* A concept that seems to permeate Swedish culture, meaning "not too much, not too little, just the right
amount". Dften mocked by those opposed to the ten "Jante laws" which, among other things, state "Don't think
you are special". These two concepts represent the worst sides of Scandinavian society to many people.
In what way are you involved
in survivalism or related areas,
whether directly or indirectly?
I have volunteered for the homeguard wich means I will
help society if a natural disaster should occur. Sweden
is quite politically and socially stable so a natural dis-
aster is more likely to happen. A natural disaster that
is not taken care of in time, however, can easily make
people desperate. I hope I can be a part of stopping the
riots BEFORE they happen.
I am also politicaly active within the parlamentary sys-
tem doing my best to stabilize the social order. I am not
an apocalypse romantic hoping for society to collapse,
I'd rather keep things the way they are and sit in my
warm cozy apartment with food only a short bike ride
ARMED HIPPIE, SWEDEN
It's a hobby, and a lifestyle. I hang out at a couple of re-
lated Internet forums, mainly Swedish Survivalist (for
obvious reasons) and Zombie Squad (for the humor,
good info, and great forum moderators that leads to
the best info source I've encountered). Survivalism
tends to ease the day-to-day problems everyone has,
so it's a practical hobby to have. I probably go camping
with my family a bit more than I would if it weren't for
It's part of my lifestyle, my interests gD nicely to-
gether, and ultimately form the concept "Survivalism"
tn me. Self-reliance, Weaponry, Martial arts and their
ilk all fit into the big picture.
I am writing a blog in Danish (rettentilselv-
fDrsvar.WDrdpress.CDm) where I am mainly dis-
cussing the issues of self defense and the right to
Dwn and bear arms. Due tn media and scIiddI mis-
information as well as laws that keep almost all
people from getting any firearm experience, far
most Danes believe that our laws are fair and
effective against crime. This overwhelming con-
sensus makes it a hard subject to debate, not so muc
through the blog, as most commenting readers tend
to agree with my position, but in real life you need
very good arguments, which forces me to study the
subject a lot. The blog also functions as a mean to let
off steam when really stupid people (i.e. politicians
and NGDs) do or say really stupid things.
Some projects you are working an,
resources you want tn have,
skills you want tn learn.
Enclave leadership abilities.
Hunter's exam S pilot's license. Bunker with food pro-
duction. I want to learn to clean chimneys.
Currently building an EDC. I want to
live outside of the cities on a somewhat self-support-
ing farm. Not crazy self-supporting, which is kind of
useless (much work, small profit) but so you are less
vulnerable to external forces than living in a city.
I have built a windmill for making 12 volts. Also some
minor projects like a home made battery bank with
converter to most used formats. Beer brewing is also
something that I have been learning to do lately
(brewing is perhaps not a skill required for survival
but oh my god it helps). When it comes to things I can't
do at the present, cooking soap and making a petrol
engine work with wood gas are projects I want to try.
I would like to do some more first aid training. I have I want to make a better BDB, so that's a work in
no current projects, though I do keep an eye out for progress. I am also, for some time, working on getting a
interesting and useful books, tools etc when shopping, firearms license, wich isn't all that easy in this country.
TOVERI, FINLAND ARMED HIPPIE, SWEDEN
One can always have more... of Everything. But I would
like a bigger network of worthy individuals.
I read a number of books and blags Dn various sub-
jects related tn survivalism and would say that I have
a well-rDunded knowledge of the field. I am quite
acquainted with firearms, which is a rare thing in
Denmark as it is illegal for pretty much everyone be-
sides the army and the police to handle any weapons.
What are some good ways
to survive and thrive in
Live on a farm for one, have a source of meat and
eggs, and a green house. That is what I would call a
good way to survive and thrive when thinking about
survivalism. Today I do not understand why people
depend on processed foods and goods entirely. I do
understand it up to a certain point but there are many
ways to use what the nature gives you, and there are
so many ways to make much better use of what you
already have right there in your hands. You just have
to realize what you have and what you can do with it.
According to me the best way is to move in a small vil-
lage in south Sweden far from the nearest large city
and make yourself helpful. The countryside is quite
gun-dense, has fewer socially unstable elements and
farming means food even if SHTF. Good place to have
friends when SHTF. If you aren't a Christian you might
have a problem with some parts of rural south Swe-
ARMED HIPPIE, SWEDEN
Many areas of Scandinavia are sparsely populated,
if you are willing to live in the northern parts, then
land and farms are relatively cheap. And you can use
the long summer days to get large crops. But you
need plenty of firewood to keep warm in the winter.
In the south the price on small farms is going up,
since Europeans to the south are starting to move
north. There are plenty of Danish and Germans that
buy summer houses or small farms, to retire on, driv-
ing the prices up.
Become self-sufficient and economically independent.
Pros: Low population density. Few serious natural dis-
asters (like earthquakes, drought, tornadoes, etc.).
Cons: Cold weather. Short gardening season. Nanny
state mentality among people.
Getting some sort of retreat out in the Countryside,
where you can hone your skills, accumulate re-
sources, test your gear in peace, and of course re-
treat to if the need arises.
How does the weather
affect things in Scandinavia?
Limits the options of growing your own food in the
garden to a few months a year and limited number of
plants that like the climate. Also heating in the winter
in r, iii in '
requires lots of energy. Dn the flip side, yDU can have
very gnnd rnDt cellars for long term fond storage.
Well here in Iceland it does affect many things. The
weather is very unreliable, nD matter what season it
is. Ydu can have a CDuple of nights in mid summer
where everything freezes, sd for instance if yDU are
growing potatoes you might lose the potato grass
which means that the potatoes won't grow any fur-
The daylight is very difficult to handle as well, since
from spring till late summer you have 24 hours of
sunlight most days, except
the cloudy ones of course.
When the fall comes around
the days grow shorter every
day really, until in December
you might have 4 hours of
Currently the weather is no large threat. There are
some storms, but very seldom really severe. The cli-
mate change seems to favour Scandinavia. Longer
growing seasons and not as cold winters. The north-
ern bare mountains are slowly getting forested with
birch. In the south, oak and beech trees are sponta-
neously starting to grow in woods that previously only
had spruce, pine and birch.
They get wet when it rains... They get dry when the
sun shines on them.
Mast people probably You could count on rain, snow, cold, or a nasty
(hopefully) do not combination of those factors during about 8
think we're going months of the year. Dn the other hand, fresh
to be fighting zombies water is plentiful all year.
in our lifetime. scoremax, Sweden
daylight. So as you can see
it can be difficult to grow anything in that condition, ^ h M ai are M $ome j $$ V e$ B faclng
■ • i I a l ■ l Li j n . independent-minded
let alane when there is hers frost and snow. But you $ candillcIwicin$ right now?
can ydu need tn have a goad greenhause with unlim- Scandinavian CQUntriES havE trad j tina || y baan SDma
ited access tn hat geathermal water and greenhnuse rf ^ mQst frEE ^^ when jt CQmES tQ ^ prESS
lamps. But that is far aut af reach far a persan like gn(j spEEch HWEVEr nQW jt SEEms pEQp | E hgvE ^
m ^' gotten why free speech is important and are willing
During summer snme types nf vegetables and fruits tQ se|| jt Qut ^ ^^ ggjns Qr DECausE rf pQp .
depend nn the rain af caurse. That can be a prablem. ^ faar . mDngaring
For instance this summer, we had a few nights of
frost, and then nearly no rain. Because of that the
crops for the farmers were less than everyone hoped
for, which can cause much damage. In general I would
say that it is difficult to depend on the weather and
seasons, so if anyone is growing anything they have
to realise that things can easily go bad.
It means your BDB will be quite heavy in the winter
and that having non-electric heating as back-up is es-
sential. It doesn't change much dramatically, just adds
even more hardship to SHTF-situations.
ARMED HIPPIE, SWEDEN
FRA, EU-surveillance directive, censorship-issues and
gag-orders in UK, Sweden... really EU-wide.
Not going crazy on all the tv-watching simple minded
consumers around us.
We live in a very calm part of the world and I think
most survivalists sleep very good at the time. The last
big one was the impending pig flu that didn't kill more
people than normal flu. Therefore
at least to me EMP from the sun is
perhaps the biggest fear that I
would prepare for.
More complications regarding re-
sources at least here in Iceland.
Less access if things continue to
develop in this direction. While this
economic crisis is hanging over
Iceland (since I'm not 100% aware
of the actual situation in other
countries here in the north even
though I do read quite a bit) the
problem is that everything costs
so much. Even though only individ-
ual things have raised just a bit,
people seem to forget that every-
thing has raised but wages (for
those who actually have wages or
can collect full benefits) are still
standing at the same level. So the
ability to purchase is decreasing
fast. So basically the main prob-
lem in my eyes (since I'm not in
contact with anyone in the same
place in life as I am) is that I am
fairly new to this certain lifestyle,
and it is more than stressful to try
to make things work with seriously
Surveillance. The government has
passed several laws making it eas-
ier for authorities to eavesdrop on
your phonecalls or read your mail.
I think this is the start of a trend.
Sadly few of my fellow liberals future difficult for everyone,
dared vote against the govern- CBEIDIKI, FINLAND
ment line in these matters even
if they knew the decisions to be Gun laws and other stupid legisla-
wrnng. tions, lots of red tape...
ARMED HIPPIE, SWEDEN ARTIMIS, SWEDEN
I don't see any large issues. Al-
ways some minor gripes, but noth-
ing serious. Scandinavia is a
prosperous and peaceful part of
Unemployment is hitting the coun-
try hard making planning for the
The socialist nanny-state mindset
that the government will be able
and willing to help us in any situa-
tion. This leads to under-prepared-
ness. Scandinavians tend to expect
help within days, even when trav-
eling to the other end of the world...
and so they expect government
help in a couple of hours at home.
What problems do
you foresee in
the years ahead?
The financial crisis will make
everyone's lives a bit more miser-
able for years to CDme. And if the
90's recession is any indicator
there's going to be a slight rise in
crime and a lot of people will be in
serious debt for decades.
From a survivalist viewpoint I'm
mostly worried about the in-
creasing vulnerability in society.
We are depending on very long
supply chains and working infra-
structure. Building in redundancy
is expensive so when companies
are in control of the infrastruc-
ture they have very little motiva-
tion to prepare for disasters that
might never come. That all means
that our lives could be disrupted
A power outage will pretty much on the streets but also in the by a small catastrophe to an ex-
disable many city-dwellers, and longer run, as Islam is gaining po- tent most people don't even re-
they're not interested in solving litical power. Some Muslims just alise. We might have the nuclear
the problems themselves: they sit wish to live in peace but too many fallout shelters for the worst case
around moaning and waiting for are working very hard on under- scenario, but how about a solar
assistance. This is not good com- mining our liberties. storm knocking down the electri-
pany for "independent-minded" The second danger to our way of cal grid? Sure it wouldn't kill us
people... life is the political system which and we would survive, but ironi-
MJCRETIUS, SWEDEN j s getting more and more author- cally we would be far worse pre-
itarian and interfering with issues pared for that than we are for
In my opinion the two more seri-
that used to be private matters.
ous issues for the Scandinavians
Further integration into the EU is
Immigration from Muslim nations.
not making this development any
Years ahead? 50 years from now
Islam is becoming a serious issue,
there will be no Scandinavia.
both in terms of every day safety
Competition from China, India and
Dther high population developing
countries where the population
works hard to improve, while our
day-care-societies bitch about
working B hours a day and lots of
other cute stuff.
Norway lives off the oil but in the
end this will stop. What will we do
then? Also with the climate change
what will happen with for instance
the Dcean streams that keep Nor-
way's coast much hotter than for
I'm not ready to answer this ques-
tion in full honesty. I am
not even sure where Iceland is
heading, what will happen, and I'm
even less sure what could happen.
I'm very confused about everything
and my main focus is on getting my-
self and the people around me out
of this somehow, or at least get
We will probably see growing instabil-
ity because of the declining economy
and at the same time immigration
from third-world countries is getting
out of hand. I believe we will see riots
in all of the nordic countries in ID
years, Sweden already has those in
Malmti and Gtiteborg.
Civil unrest. Not a civil war but in-
creased crime rates as poverty in-
creases and rioting in the streets
around the time of the election, es-
pecially if the Swedish Democrats
make it into parliament.
ARMED HIPPIE, SWEDEN
Even though Scandinavia currently
seems to be a winner, regarding the
climate change, that may change.
New species will migrate from the
south and may cause problems and
Scandinavia is heavily integrated
in the global economies, so anything
bad globally will have severe effects
for the economies in Scandinavia as
If the cost of transportation and
fossil fuel should suddenly rise, it
would have severe effects on many
parts of the Scandinavian eco-
nomies, like most others.
The large public sectors re-
garding health, education and
care for the older, depends on a
high level of taxation. If that tax
basis should erode, then the
Scandinavian societies would
have to face big changes. That
tax basis is, like most western
economies, heavily dependent
on cheap fossil fuel.
I suspect that Scandinavia
is a very good place to live, if
youareasurvivalist, or not.
' il I
Heavy reliance Dn fossile fuels for transportation and
heating, aging infrastructure, aging population, low
rates of self sufficiency in basic food crops. We are
well prepared for short shocks, but poorly for ex-
More restrictions and surveillance in all corners of
the day to day life.
Less personal freedom.
I do not know. But I prepare for the Zombies.... :P
Seriously, I'm troubled by the lack of military de-
fence. My country currently can't deploy one (I!)
fighter plane over the capital. And the sun is appar-
ently cooler than usual right now, and a serious tem-
porary cooling of the planet would hit us hard, esp.
regarding food production.
To the major part of the population, the increased
eavesdropping by authories,and possible continuous
infringement of individual rights. To single individuals,
a possible increase in violence/violent-acts against
them, (such as robberies).
I see an increasing totalitarian development combined
with an increase in Islamic influences. This will either
break the little spirit we have left or it will force peo-
ple to take matters into their own hands.
What does survivalism
mean to you?
It's mostly an attitude. To admit the possibility of un-
expected difficulties and prepare to survive even if
To think about what problems and opportunities the
future will most likely bring, that are out of my control,
and the reasonable steps I take today to mitigate or
exploit coming events.
Knowing how. This acually counts it up for me. By hav-
ing the know how and information needed by a man or
woman to be ready for anything. I don't think there will
be a World War 2. 1 don't
think North Korea will | believe WE
bomb us. But knowing w j|| SEE r j Qts j n
how to survive gives me a || nf the nordic
a higher chance if cnuntriES
something happened. j n | y Ears
The media makes sur-
vivalist sound like doomsday fanatics - this is for me
not true. I think that in my lifetime there is a chance
that I will need my skills in local happenings, for in-
stance short-time powerloss (1-3 days), flooding or
perhaps snow blizzards. But that the world will end
and everyone will have to fend for themselves - not so
I prefer not to call it survivalism, more like a way of
life we country people are born with out of necessity.
Living a life fit for a human. It means not just surviv-
ing but staying sane, finding and sticking to your moral
values, expressing your inner self in creative ways
and helping others as you go along. Survivalism is sur-
viving as man, not as an animal.
ARMED HIPPIE, SWEDEN
Survivalism is about being prepared to handle crises,
on our own or together with your neighbours and
friends. What differs is what type of crises you pre-
pare for. Some prepare for a short power outage,
Dthers for long term unemployment and economic
Adapting to changing situations.
i 111 IIHKI. FINLAND
To be prepared for both large and small problems
that can affect me.
An independent mindset. Disaster preparedness,
that also helps you deal with the every-day micro-
disasters that happen to us all. Some fun times in
To be able to get the upper hand in those rare
occasions when things go bad... through prepara-
The basic of survivalism is the will to protect your-
self and one's family from danger, and the will to
realize that it is in your hands, not the govern-
Does Scandinavian survivalism
differ from American
I don't know if we have much of a survivalist cul-
ture here. But in many ways we are far more pre-
pared for catastrophe on day-to-day basis here.
The goverment mandates bomb shelters in large
buildings, there's nuclear shelters for 80% of the
Finnish population. Since military service is
mandatory in Finland almost all males over 18 have
survival and combat training etc. Also the older
generations still remember war (WWII that is) and
the poverty that followed, so they tend to stock up
and keep a lot of resources for the "rainy day".
Same thing. Scandinavian survivalists don't know
it yet... :)
I don't know much about American survivalists
really. They are probably more gun and bunker
crazy, but that is just my prejudice.
Well, I think that american survivalist are more into
guns than us. We have a lot of
guns in Norway also but we
don't have a lot of handguns
and it is mostly farmers and
hunters that use them. Nor-
mal people in the cities don't
have guns. Also, I think perhaps the Americans
have more fear than us after the 9.11. Terrorism
is not a subject that concerns us very much be-
cause it happened so far from here. Therefore we
don't think terrorists will do anything in Norway.
When it comes to Norway we have smaller cities
and not many people, so we are more like Canadi-
ans then Americans I think.
In many ways, yes. Most people probably (hope-
fully) do not think we're going to be fighting zom-
bies in our lifetime.
Yes, I think it does. At least Swedes seem more
concerned with natural disasters and coping with
5D years from
now there will be
' 1 1
bad weather and less with man made disasters as com-
pared to Americans.
ARMED HIPPIE, SWEDEN
I don't really know that much about American survival-
ism, but you can't avoid noticing the fixation on guns.
But we have our gun-fixated people here as well but not
to that degree, I think.
We don't focus as much on guns.
What is the most common
mistake survivalists make?
Many seem to be preparing for war, not for survival.
There's a far too big an emphasis on weapons and self-
defence. Well, at least from a Scandinavian viewpoint.
Probably to prepare for "sexy" threats first. Eating and
training right, saying no to alcohol and tobacco and get-
ting a fire-alarm is problably better for your survival
than getting a gun and a BOB, but not nearly as fun.
ARMED HIPPIE, SWEDEN
They prepare for some specific event and when that
does not happen (Y2K) they stop caring.
I think there are a lot of people who are mostly occupied
with the reading and spend too few resources on the
physical preparations, myself included.
Another problem is that there are a number of
eccentrics who make survivalists as a group look like
crazy conspiracy theorists. Better PR through rational
argumentation could make it a lot easier to engage peo-
ple in conversations on the subject of survalism.
Anything else you wish to say?
Buy your headstone now and put it above your bed. This
will help you focus on what really matters in your life.
Stay safe, stay sane!
ARMED HIPPIE, SWEDEN
Hm. PrEparing means having resources and skill before
disaster strikes. Not having a vague notion of what you
would start to do after.
I have noticed that more people are starting to see the
unrest that lies ahead. Even here in Denmark I meet
more people who know that something is very wrong.
Very few realize how serious the situation really is but
just a few years ago
Buy your headstone
now and put it above
your bed. This will
help you focus on
what really matters
in your life.
the usual reaction to
my views on this sub-
ject was laughter,
today people usually
are much more seri-
ous when the topic is
This is also a tendency I see in other places of Europe
and especially in the US, and it is good to see that peo-
ple are waking up, albeit very slowly.
Surviving Iceland: www.newsfrettir.CDm/alive
Swedish Survivalist: swedishsurvivalist.egetfDrum.se
Att leva efter 2012: innandetsker.blDgspDt.com
Zombie Squad: zombiehunters.org
Retten til selvforsvar: rettentilselvforsvar.wordpress.com
for furii profit and
This article is about something that is always close to heart for me, the military.
Everybody is different and there is no way of telling if you're going to like being in
the military or not. However there are some things all former soldiers I've ever met
seem to agree upon. It is an intense experience unlike anything you're likely to
otherwise do in your life and it is not a waste of time no matter what walk of life you
choose when you decide to leave the military.
I don't have much in the way of military experience myself. I joined a volunteer pro-
gram when I was sixteen and did ten months of military service in the Swedish
marines after finishing senior high. My time in the military was the best and worst
time in my life and something I am proud of. Today when I think back I mostly re-
member the good stuff. When I was asked to write this article I was instantly inter-
ested as I have applied to re-enlist and have been thinking a lot about the subject
lately. This article is about why to join. That is because "why" is a much more in-
teresting topic as compared to "why not".
I'll begin with the most obvious: the military
is, without the shadow of a doubt, the best
place for learning combat skills. This is es-
pecially true for infantry units, such as the
army and the marines. If you want to learn
how to fight, and get paid to do it instead of
paying for it, the military is
^ the right place to be. A
•r^t well trained grnup is a lot
I stronger than eight indi-
# jR viduals, that's why you will
,5r learn how to work in a
\ 1 group, as well as working
SA together with other
^%i!is^ groups and spe-
jSQP^SJ^ cialized teams
$*^j6r) such as K9-
X units and
sniper teams (depending on your function
within the military of course).
Even if you aren't interested in learning to
fight for some weird reason, the military has
a lot more to offer. Depending on the country,
and your abilities, you can get paid for learn-
ing a vast array of skills including: interroga-
tion, investigation, language and working with
translations, communication, leadership, ex-
plosives, driving, doing mechanical repairs and
also there is a chance to get to play with high-
tech military equipment.
A lot of the common skills within the military
are actually quite exotic outside that environ-
ment, learning how to handle explosives is but
one of many examples. Outsiders are often not
aware of the great variety of jobs the military
offers so even if you think of the military as
having nothing to offer you,
— ~-"\ learning more about what
\ the military actually does
might be a good idea.
Dne skill that stands out amongst those you
learn in the military is discipline. Some might
argue that discipline in the military is depen-
dant of an external source of motivation (the
drill sergeant screaming at you) but I think
that you do learn important lessons about
self discipline in the service. You learn how to
stay focused when tired or hungry and, at
least if you're in the infantry, how to push
through the pain and walk that extra mile,
But almost no matter what position you
hold you're likely to develop better know-
ledge about yourself, your abilities and how
you act under pressure. At least for me the
military is a place where you develop as a
person, both intellectually and otherwise.
Besides learning exotic skills and learning
more about yourself, and getting paid while
doing so, there are also other good reasons
to join the military. Dne is to be able to help
your local community.
country and all that it may still be sensible to
join the military to be able to help your local
community in case of natural disaster. A nat-
ural disaster may put a large strain on soci-
ety and if not relieved within three days most
people will become desperate and the risk of
civil strife increases dramatically. "Riots are
never more than nine meals away" as the
saying goes. Helping your local community in
case of a flood or snowstorm might keep
matters from getting worse and eventually
out of hand.
Dften this is the job of the military as they
are the only ones with the manpower to get
enough done fast enough.
text ARMED HIPPIE
Should society collapse, as some readers of
this article probably believe it might during our
organization with the best resources to
withstand the effects of social break- /
down, maybe not as much in coun-
tries where the military relies
rience has been that the people you serve
with will not necessarily become your best
friends, they will become some of your
\ most reliable friends, friends to count
on for help if you get in a pinch.
supplies, however (unless they
start looting, of course). It might
seem weird to join the military to
stay alive, but under certain cir-
cumstances it might be your best bet.
the common skills
Within the military are\ This have been but some of the
actually quite eXOtic many good reasons why to join
«ii<-^n ^l A <-l^+- A niii ionnm«nf the military, espEcially if ynu hap-
outside that environment! , , i ++ u
pen to be a survivahst, there are
"•earning hOW tO handle f many more but these will have to
explosives is but / do for now. There are of course
\ / reasons why not to join as there
\ one of many j l ^
Jg examples 11
C many good reasons why to join
. the military, especially if you hap-
pen to be a survivalist, there are
Le j many more but these will have to
/ do for now. There are of course
/ reasons why not to join as there
/ are reasons not to ever do anything
remotely dangerous or demanding, but
that view of what not to do in life leads to
a boring and, I believe, unsatisfying life.
Dther benefits for the survivalist include \ exaiTIDleS 11
getting paid to get in shape. Now, every- >,
body doesn't like the kind of shape the mili-
tary gets you in. Different units and different
countries focus on different things in mili- WDrsG and joining the military to earn a living been to Lebanon clearing mines and lEDs two
tary physical training but focus tends to be j s starting to seem as a viable choice even times, being asked if it wasn't dangerous. He
on endurance and mobility and not being as among social groups where it was earlier replied: "Yes, of course it's dangerous, but
strong or as thin as possible. Really strong frowned upon. At least that is what it looks SD ' s crossing the street, and that never
people actually may have a hard time keep- |jk G from where I'm standing. While my expe- stops people from doing it every day",
ing their muscle mass and really slim people
often find themselves becoming fatter (the
author for example gained 8 kg of weight
during his military service). Military training J
tends to make your physique well rounded
rather than helping you reach your peak in
one area. This is not a bad thing according to
me, but bodybuilders and models be aware!
The military is also a good place for extend-
ing your personal network. People join the
military for all different kinds of reasons and
you will meet a lot of people from social fields
you otherwise might be unlikely to encounter,
no less befriend. This is becoming increas-
ingly true as the economic crisis is getting
text CHRIS "LDGANWHD" HADNAGY
A Gift frDm the gads Df
the Internet Dr a social engineer's dream?
What do TJ Maxx, Heartland Payment Systems, 7-11 and the US Secret Service all have in common?
What you can't guess? Then I will tell you.
The answer is Albert Gonzales. Albert was arrested in 2DDG for what was believed to be the
largest identity theft in US history, stealing over 4D million credit card numbers.
He was somehow released and then became an informant for the US Secret Service where he
continued to steal credit cards to the tune of I3D million numbers.
How is it that identity theft phishing, credit card fraud and the like are so much easier today?
The answer can lie in the story Df Lnri
Drew and MySpace. An DVEr-prDtective
mother creates a fake MySpace page tn
harass her daughter's rival. This stDry is
all tan CDmmDn and just the tip Df the ice-
Creating false social media pages is
as easy as creating a YahDD Dr Gmail
account. Maybe today I want to be a IS
year Did girl, tomorrow a successful WWII
pilot and the next day an entrepreneur Df
a Fortune 500 company... all possible on-
line. But you might be asking, "what does
all this have to do with social engineer-
WHAT IS SOCIAL
The Social Engineering Framework
work] states, "Social EnginEEring is de-
fined as the process of deceiving people
into giving away access or confidential
nfarmation". Wikipedia defines it as: "is
tie act of manipolating people into per-
forming actions or divolging confidential
n formation. While similar to a confidence
trick or simple fraod, the term typically
applies to trickery or deception for the
porpose of information gathering, fraod
or compoter system access; in most
cases the attacker never comes face-to-
face with the victim. "
What do you consider confidential infor-
For some it is as little as where in the
world they live or their contact info, for
others it is pictures of their family... but
for all of us it is our ID numbers, social
security numbers, birth dates, credit card
numbers and the like.
This information is what malicious peo-
ple can and do use to steal our identities,
steal our money and wreak havoc on our
banking and credit scores.
A CASE STUDY
Recently we were auditing a company for
security reasons (at their request) and
we found the technology they ran a tight
ship. Their firewalls where hardened and
their perimeter was pretty secure, not
giving us much room to "hack" in. Dut of
a whim I decided to see what I could find
on the CED just by using Google and a
popular Information Gathering Tool called
gineering_Tools:_Maltego]. By just using
his email address and doing some simple
searches we were able to recover all this
data in under 1.5 hours:
Names of all his kids
Pictures of his ex-wife and kids
Names and address of his parents
Names and address of his sister
Where he attended high school
Where he attends church
What restaurants he likes
What food is his favorite
What sport and team he favors
The names and IP addresses of his
There was more, but this was enough to
launch a very successful social engineer-
ing attack. And guess where 99% of this
information was located? Social Net-
works. Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, My-
Space. Many people feel the protection is
that one has to have an account in order
to get their personal information. Well, I
just happened to be James Jones, owner
of the Fortune 500 interested in your
products, and with similar likes. That
mixed with the way most people auto-
matically approve those requesting ac-
cess to their social pages and we had lift
SO WHAT? IT ISN'T MY licious social engineer will do, use the in-
CREDIT CARD INFO... herent weaknesses in the social networks
Ok, that is fair. But imagine this... I know to exploit you and gain valuable informa-
that you just took your two sons to a Yan- tion.
kee's game and afterwards hit up the
amazing sushi place downtown. WHAT CAN YOU 1)0
Would you respond to a phone message TO PROTECT YOURSELF?
from the Children's Outing Network? We Be more aware of who is trying to con-
are offering you free Yankee's tickets and nect to you and why. Do not auto-allow
when you sign up for our free newsletter people to obtain your information. Better
we put you in the running for a $100 gift yet, do not put all your personal all over
card to - you guessed it - Your Favorite the web for the world to find. Be selective
Sushi Place.com. Just send me an email about what you put out there about peo-
to newsletter@lamGonnaOwnYou.com. pie and how much of it you allow. Want to
Sure enough the email comes in, but share pics of the kids and wife with your
what comes back is
a maliciously crafted
PDF named, Newslet-
ter.pdf sending me a
reverse shell to my
computer and we
owned you. All of this
based on informa-
tion we obtained
from social net-
works. Hitting key-
words, hitting favo-
rites makes the
Maybe today I want to
be a 13 year old girl,
tomorrow a successful
WWII pilot and the next
day an entrepreneur
of a Fortune 500
all possible online.
family? Make a
your close knit
group has ac-
cess to. Edu-
cate yourself to
the risks and
out there. The
Internet is a fun
place that does
make the world
victim automatically a lot smaller,
like you and automatically feel rapport just be aware of the dangers and educate
and trust. If you are a snowboarding, tat- yourself of the risks. Being armed with
tooed dude then I am a surfing tattooed this knowledge can definitely lead you to
chick. a more secure place.
Chris is on the dEVElopmEnt team and the
lead social engineer for www.social-engi-
nEor.org, a wsbsits that was dovolopod to
hooso the world's first Social Enginooring
Framework It is comploto with tools, tips,
tricks andhow-to:s on social onginEEring.
Jhs endeavor is to educate companies and
psopls to tho risks so thoy can protoct
against the increasing nombcr of social en-
ginEaring, phishing and deception attacks
being ossd today.
Now the scary thought. If we can do all
this and think of all this just for a pentest,
what are the malicious evil hacker types
going to do?
I think the best way to summarize this is
to use a quote from an article on Albert
Gonzales: "Albert was not a computer ge-
nius with unlimited talent. No, instead he
just knew where to look and how to un-
cover the vulnerabilities and weaknesses
in common systems.'lhat is what a ma-
rWhen I was first asked to give advice to Americans about sarging in
Sweden, my thought was "DDNT DD IT!"
Don't sarge in Sweden, I mean, not don't share my 4 years of ex-
Those years saw me living in Stockholm and Gothenburg, sarging
scores of super-model quality HBs r the hottest I've ever met and ex-
ploring sexually in ways I never did with English girls.
The reason I thought "don't do it", is because
it can become a life sentence. So good are
your prospects as an American, Canadian,
Australian or Brit that it's entirely possible
you could plan to go to Sweden for 2 weeks
and stay ID years. I can personally attest to
meeting and working with native English
speakers who had travelled to Sweden on va-
cation, met a SHB, stayed on there for the
sake of the relationship and the mind-blow-
ing sexual options, had a kid and found them-
selves still in Sweden years later.
This is the reason I warn about going to Swe-
den - you need to know what you are getting
into and you need to be strong. The story of
Ddysseus in Greek mythology sees the hero
tying himself to the mast of his ship as he
sails through the valley of the beautiful
Sirens who attempt to lure him. Such are the
sarging prospects in Sweden that you need
to be as strong as Ddysseus if you want to
win the game on your terms. Many a brave
American I met during my time there had
sailed to Sweden after hearing the Sirens'
call and found himself checkmated into a LTR
or marriage when all he'd wanted was some
action in the sack. I and the people I met
called ourselves "the refugees of love", be-
cause we were all western English speakers
living with hot Swedish chicks in what turned
out to be a quite an alien environment.
So why am I both warning you of long term
entrapment and revealing hints of the sexual
paradise that awaits? Simply because so
often a choice has to be made between one's
short term enjoyment and the sacrifices one
makes when living in what remains, still, a
rather different culture.
Sweden is cold in winter, the people tend to
be reserved and unemotional and it's bloody
expensive. Dn the other hand, they tend to
like English-speaking westerners, they are
sexually liberated and are carnally open in
ways that make your typical western Anglo-
phone society seem Victorian and prudish.
Having said all this as a pre-cursor, here are
some thoughts on sarging in Sweden.
First, speak English. Let people know you are
American or British etc. I learned this the
hard way - I speak decent Swedish but I still
sound foreign to the Swedes. They some-
times tank me for a Yugoslavian refugee and
would not respond to my openers. From their
point of view, Americans and Brits simply
don't speak Swedish; certainly not as well as
I can. Therefore, the Swedes seemed to sur-
mise that because I was white and spoke
Swedish with a foreign accent I must be
some immigrant type. My attempts to open
at the bus stop, on the street and in
bars were met with suspicion. Immi- ^\\Cv^
grants are not high value people in Swe-
or American chicks. Many times I just met a
Swedish girl in a one to one situation - they
tend to be strong on equality and it's not like
some places where girls go out only with
other chicks. In Sweden I was able to meet
girls in restaurants and bars when they were
on their own. Also, I was able
to meet chicks . ^
ate & e * e detv
den, usually. But when I spoke English and V)Y VJv ' x -' v\C^ v> " cP\V^
let them know early on I am British, the A^tV^ ' O^
response was so much better. They'd say vv> vvrilV^ ^ \i\W
things like "Dh I love London!", and "Do you a§ S" ^v \Q
know there are more people living in London
than in all of Sweden", or "You're English! I
love the Beatles". From there it was much
easier to build rapport.
In the bedroom I was able to push for new
sexual boundaries including getting my LTR
to admit she wanted to try sex with another
girl. I'd never had that from English girls,
ever! I could go into more graphic detail in
this area and expound on the new sexual bor-
ders I crossed with my LTR but I'll save it and
be discreet, at least online.
I laid Swedish girls too on holiday in Copen-
hagen, Croatia and Turkey. I had them visit
me in Spain and England. They were all great
times of exploring sexually. The Swedish
chicks are so more feminine than the British
& through fore-play
parties. When I was first invited to
one, I almost shot my load. They turn out,
though, to be parties for drinking before the
night out proper happens. Be warned, the
drinks are damned expensive in Sweden so
it's quite common to go to a pre-party in
someone's house to save money. Then you
have the night out, followed sometimes, by
after-play. In both the fore-play and after-
play parties I was able to build attraction and
close the deal.
Although individual equality, especially for
women's rights, is emphasized a lot in Swe-
den, the group is incredibly important. Not
rocking the boat and fitting in is an impor-
tant concept. There is the concept of
"lagom", which means average or just
enough; not too much and not too little. The
Swedes like lagom, and if you disrupt it by
challenging the established Swedish way of
doing things, you can pay a price of being
alienatated by the group. This is important
when gaming because you need to pay spe-
cial attention to winning over the group if the
chick is in a set. Having the group accept you
and see you as cool is especially important in
Sweden and it is a double edged sword in
the sense that if you do succeed in winning
the group to you then that group con-
formity works for you and not against
you. In addition, the men tend to be quite
shy and the women more the bosses.
In my experience, the younger Swedish
chicks like a bad boy foreigner when they are
younger - they like the fun, excitement and
the novelty. But when they are slightly older
and it comes to long term relationships and
having kids, they often settle with a boring,
dependable Sven (a Swedish man). Not al-
ways, but damn often enough for me and the
other guys I used to sarge with to notice it
and comment on it in agreement.
There is a ton more I could say about Swe-
den, especially about the psychology of the
people when it comes to sarging, but I'll leave
it there for now and perhaps I can do a Q and
A session as a follow up.
THE MOON IS A
Robert A. Heinlein, "the dean of science fiction writers", was barn in I9D7 and died roughly
2D years ago. The young Bible belt boy joined the navy and got married a couple of times in
his twenties but he left the military after 5 years due to illness. He started writing sience fic-
tion short stories in 1929 and later he started writing longer novels. His characters are often
intelligent and independent adventurers who might sometimes laugh in the face of danger but
if it can at all be done they much rather search for earthly (and mostly horizontal) pleas-
ures. In most of his works his philosophy shines through and even if a lot of the stuff he writes
makes me consider him an old, fairly dirty and very weird man, he's also a big inspiration.
I felt a strong need to write something about this since I feel that it's just that important, but
on the other hand I'm very lazy. I can't be bothered to explain too much stuff since I'm busy
watching zombie movies and figuring out how much booze my body can take without turning
green. Thus, I'll simply let the man speak for himself by giving you my ten favorite quotes
from his books.
"I willaccEpt the rules that yuu feel necessary to your
freedum. I am free, no matter what rulss surround
ma. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find
them too obnoxioos, I break them. I am free because
I know that I alone am morally responsible for every-
thing I do."
The moon Is a Harsh Mistress (13GB)
I feel that this might be at least part of the foundation
the rest of the stuff I'll quote later builds upon. You
are responsible, it's your choice, no one can take your
moral responsibility away. What's right is right and
what's wrong is wrong and no matter what the Bible,
the local legal system or your mother says it's up to
you to do what you feel is right. Dh yeah, not that I
think Heinlein felt like me about the last part but
everything gets better if you play Breaking the Law
in the background.
"It may be better to be a live jackal than a dead lion,
but it is better still tu be a live linn. And usually eas-
The Notebooks of Lazarus Long (1978)
I'll just take this as: "Be a man". Sure, it's not the eas-
iest thing and in the end you might die or lose or
whatever the crap you're afraid of, but at least you'll
get the girl. Dr, failing that, your self-respect will be
"Widuws are far better than brides. They dun't tell
they wun't yell they don't swell they rarely smell and
they're gratefol as hell. "
To Sail Beyond the Sunset (1987)
I have no idea how he knew this, and to be quite hon-
est I've never been able to try the theory (and not for
lack of trying!) but it still sounds like a good piece of
advice to bring along on the trip that is your life.
Jour enemy is never a villain in his own eyes. Keep
this in mind; it may offer a way to make him your
friend. If not you can kill him withuut hate - and
The Notebooks of Lazarus Long (I97B)
^\^ text DUSTY V •
Everyone is always working for soma goal.
Most people are always selfish in one way ar
another, and the others we lock up in mental
institutions. However, very few actually con-
sider themselves a villain. Except that guy in
Doctor Horrible's sing a long blog. Some-
times you can find a way to work together to
achieve a common goal and sometimes you
can't, but it's very often correct not to let
feelings get in the way of achieving some-
"Never appeal to a man's 'batter nature.' He
may not have Dne. Invoking his self-interest
gives you more leverage. "
More of the same stuff. I've always hated it
and instinctively looked for the nearest ob-
ject suitable to hit someone in the head with
whenever someone told me that they did
something for "my own good". I have my
goals, you have yours. Let me worry about
mine and if you want to help me, don't do so
by going against my wishes.
"Love is the condition in which the happiness
of another person is essential to your own. "
Stranger in a Strange Land (I9GI)
I like this definition. A lot. He also states that
"Jealousy is a disease, love is a healthy con-
dition. The immature mind often confuses one
for the other, or assomes the greater the
love, the greater the jealousy. In fact they are
almost incompatible;both at once produce
unbearable turmoil". This makes sense to me
much more than sit-coms and bad lyrics in
worse songs you can hear on the radio.
"Sin lies only in hurting other people unnec-
essarily. All other 'sins' are just invented
Another fairly basic principle which I can
agree with very easily. Do what you want, but
don't hurt people if it can at all be helped. For
me, this is just a simplified and better ver-
sion of the Golden
Rule. And, you know, the easier the better.
I'm busy watching
zombie movies and
figuring out how
much booze my body
can take without
"Man is not a rational animal, he is a ration-
Assignment in Eternity (1353)
This is really good to remember. People do all
kinds of random shit because it feels right or
because they didn't feel like thinking enough
before acting, which makes them fairly un-
predictable. But if you ask them later you can
be sure that most people will have some kind
of explanation for their stupid shit, and that
they might even believe in it themselves.
"Democracy can't work. Mathematicians,
peasants, and animals, that's all there is - so
democracy, a theory based on the assump-
tion that mathematicians and peasants are
egual, can never work. Wisdom is not addi-
tive; its maximom is that of the wisest man in
a given groop. "
Glory Road (I3G3)
Not that I can say that there's a better way to
pick our leaders than through a free election,
but something is really weird in democracy.
If it in fact is so that we get the leaders we
deserve, the average voter is by my best
guess fairly stupid. I don't believe in a dicta-
torship either, but just because most alter-
natives are bad it doesn't necessarily mean
that democracy is good.
body by Qats
f^ , . r ^^ 2 1^ _ ^ ^ 1 ^ text AHA
by (QiQh pqqIq
Release: Dctaber 21, 2DD
Pages: 124 (e-bDDk)
Leigh Peele is an interesting dudette from the glorious State of North
Carolina. She's an autodidact fat loss expert with a sexy voice who's
built a reputation for herself on teh Internetz and IRL as a no-bullshit
personal trainer and nutritional advisor. She co-hosts a most excellent
fitness podcast aptly named The Fitcast. I really like her work ethic and
inquisitive spirit: while she spends lots of time hitting the science jour-
nals, she's also out in the field doing her own experiments and making
observations. She's a smart cookie, that one.
The book can be summarized thusly: embrace food and move more.
Drthorexia Nervosa is one of the newer eat-
ing disorders, and one that has been popping
up more and more frequently lately. It's the
pathological desire to only eat "pure" and
"clean" foods, eschewing the bad guy du jour,
whether that's carbs, saturated fats, protein,
non-organic veggies, sodium, or whatever.
Leigh's message is basically to chill the fuck
out. Food is food (except Twinkies).
She goes into a lot of studies and asks
some interesting questions. Is organic really
better? Are we all gonna turn into mutants
from all the pesticides, artificial sweeteners
and xeno-estrogens? Should we chuck the
table salt? She gives us a crash-course in
reading studies, showing us how to properly
find and interpret scientific data lest we have
to rely on sensationalist headlines proclaim-
ing "teh horror!!! X causes imminent Y!!!"
whenever some study comes out saying that
X might cause Y under conditions Z.
Her pollanesque* ethos of embracing food
also entails connecting with it on a deeper
level. We need to become our own personal
chefs and practice mindful eating, not
just go around ramming plastic-fantastic
cheezburgers down our gullets with no real
rhyme or reason.
Instead of asking ourselves what food can
do to us, we need to ask what it can do far us.
And while doing so, learn how to enjoy a wider
variety of food and re-program our taste
buds to enjoy healthy foods.
Now, an to movement.
Leigh Peele is the Queen of NEAT, which
means Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis.
She knows more about this subject than any-
one else I know of.
I view research as a spectrum. Dn one end
we have formal double-blind studies done by
scrawny eggheads. Here we get statistical
certainty (within the parameters of the
study) but usually not a high degree of use-
fulness on our personal level. Dn the other
end we have anecdotal gym data: some
jacked dude told you he did this and that and
he grew like a Supermutant. Here we have
the potential for true usefulness, but it's hard
to apply the results: we have to account for
all kinds of variables, we have no statistical
degree of certainty, and we have no control
group. The truly interesting results lie some-
where in the middle, where whitecoat science
meets gym science. Maybe this is where mad
scientists thrive? Anyhow, our Leigh is a pi-
oneer in this area.
In the book she chronicles the experiments
she did utilizing a calorimetric doo-dad called
a BodyBugg and a bunch of willing subjects.
This gadget measures caloric expenditure
using various heuristics such as skin tem-
perature and number of steps taken. It does-
n't deliver a perfectly accurate metric, but
it's good enough for experiments.
Same of her findings:
- After high-intensity exercise, people are
less likely to move for the rest of the day.
- The calories spent while cooking are sur-
- When people are aware of NEAT, they burn
- When people move more, they eat less.
- You've heard about paleo eating, how about
paleo "grocery-shopping"? She sent a bunch
of guys & gals out in the wilderness to get
some food. The caloric expenditure, unex-
pectedly, was huge.
- People overestimate their BMR (Base Meta-
bolic Rate). It doesn't matter if you're a huge
guy, if you just sit around and read Slashdot
you're not burning that much. But get up and
move around and you will burn a lot.
Some other neat (hah!) adds B ends:
- An innovative activity quiz to give a better
estimate of daily NEAT levels than the tradi-
tional Benedict-Harris method.
- A very interesting quiz to determine your
meal type personality, to gauge your ideal
meal frequency and portion sizes.
- The importance of weighing your food, not
just estimating cup sizes and such. (Never
estimate cup size, always measure!) She has
some videos on this topic on Youtube, show-
ing you the huge error variance when you're
just winging it.
- A quick expose on the history of
food and the struggle of farmers
vs gatherers. There are more in-
depth books on this, but it's an in-
teresting splash of personality.
- Make your kitchen your home
base in the war against body fat.
- A quick cooking course.
- A shitload of recipes, for all
kinds of diets, with beautiful food-
porn to whet your appetite. I srsly
need to try the "I can have bacon
BODY BY EATS
and cheese chicken sandwich". Gotta love a
woman who knows how to cook and can make
you chuckle at the same time!
- "Calories count" is always numero uno, but
other things are important too. It's hard to
pigeonhole Leigh: while she's mostly in the
portion-control camp, she's not a die-hard
- The book comes with an audiobook version,
read by Leigh herself in her sultry drawl. This
is something other authors should take note
of. A lot of people, including myself, assimi-
late data way better through this vector. I
just don't have time to sit around and read
e-books, but I do have a lot of spaces in the
day where can I listen to some audio.
- Basic but sound info on nutrition theory
we need to become our
own personal chefs and
practice mindful eating,
not just qo around
cheezburgers down our
gullets with no real
rhyme or reason.
and how to lose or gain weight.
- Her basic philosophy on fat loss is that we
should go to war on our fat and get down to
a maintenance level once and for all. Then we
need to learn proper eating habits that can
sustain us for life.
- If you want to eat according to a certain
food niche like veganism or whatever, that's
totally fine but really know WHY you are doing
- Exercise is good, constant movement is
better. Turn your life into a workout.
Should you buy this book? I don't know that I
would. But that's mainly due to my personal
pet peeves. There's nothing wrong with the
content - it's awesome - but the thing is
that I just don't like e-books. I like to have a
shelf full of esoteric books on topics varied
and sundry as a testament to my huge intel-
lect. Df course, there's another aspect which
I haven't mentioned yet, which is access to
Leigh's online support network/forum and
consultation services, which is going to be
done on a subscription basis. Dn an entre-
preneurial level, I find this to be quite ingen-
ious; fitness professionals could really
innovate with this concept of adding a dy-
namic service to a static product.
Dne thing's for sure, we should all keep our
eyes on Leigh and watch what she does in the
future. I bet it will be interesting. Per-
sonally, I hope she starts doing greasy
exercise videos or something. Mmm...
Leigh Peele doing snatches and jerks
wearing only a Confederate flag and a
jar of natural peanut butter...
I'll be in my bunk.
* In dEfEnsE of food by Michael Pollan
** Goad calories, bad caloriES, by Gary
The Body F»f
^^^ text AHA ■ Release: January 8, 2DD9
V| m Pages: 33B
Tarn Venuta is an interesting dude. He's a lifelong natural (aka no raidz)
bodybuilder who's managed to attain a pretty impressive physique
Judging from the multitudes of self-help quotes and musings that he's
peppered the book with, he's also a pretty wise and high-level char. I bet
he has mad XP.
The book starts out with a simple question:
what is the real cause of obesity? Tom
Venuto says there is no one singular cause
(ie teh carbzzzz!!!!ll). He rails against the
one-dimensional diet books that proclaim to
have The Dne Truth. Rather, the reality is that
unwanted body fat is caused by a whole bun-
dle of intertwined issues. Some examples: not
having proper information, nutritional dogma,
looking for quick fixes, not taking responsi-
bility, and not having the proper support en-
The unifying factor here is that most of these
require a holistic approach which adresses
the psychological side of things rather than
If ijOm wanf f o be ski nn<j,
miserable and have fwclced
jOinf s, $ef a book on
maraf Hon running or
Now, the fact that Tom Venuto is a body-
builder and teaches bodybuilding methodol-
ogy does not mean that this book is for
bodybuilders: it just so happens that (drug-
free) bodybuilding - which basically boils
down to weight training, high-protein diets,
training for aesthetics, and clear goal-set-
ting - is a very effective methodology for
the Average Joe who wants to look good
nekkid. This sounds like a trivial point to
make, but is it? Why then is the established
dogma that the way to lose weight is to tor-
ture yourself with endless cardio while eat-
ing like a rabbit? If you want to be skinny,
miserable and have fucked joints, get a book
on marathon running or something.
what to eat and
such. Yet most
this at all. The
value of this book is that it ties together the
basic curriculum know-how of the body-
building world and integrates it with equally
basic self-help techniques that have been
around for a long while. It's the combination
of the two that is interesting.
already know how
to train, how to
eat, what it feels
like to diet, what it
means to have
good habits, how to gauge progress, how to
troubleshoot things, how to keep motivated,
etc. Tom Venuto's achievement lays in trans-
ferring this praxis of bodybuilding to the Av-
erage Joe, who lacks battle-tested
theoretical/experiential knowledge and who
hasn't mastered the art of turning fleeting
wishes of dieselness into solid unbreakable
motivation. The lack of praxis is what turns
people to fad diets, scammy fat burning pills,
greasy vibrator machines, and other get-
ripped-fast schemes. It's the sexy allure of
neophilia, looking for magic novelty solutions
instead of grinding on the fundamentals.
In my opinion, this book provides steps 2 and
3 of the classic expertise ladder:
1. Unconscious incompetence: clueless Av-
erage Joe doesn't know a protein from a pec-
2. Conscious incompetence: Average Joe
reads books and realizes his cluelessness.
3. Conscious competence: Average Joe
does the right things but they are not inter-
nalized, full congruence with behaviors and
beliefs has not been achieved.
4. Unconscious competence: everything
has been internalized and lifestylized.
Some good take-home points
from the books:
* How to tell the difference between physical
and emotional hunger, and how to manage
* The A.W.A.R.E. formula - become Aware of
emotional eating, Watch out for triggers, Ar-
rest the behaviors, Replace behaviors, Es-
tablish new beliefs.
* Belief power vs willpower - willpower
wears out, why you must build a solid foun-
dation of beliefs/attitudes.
* The importance of building habits.
* The 5 principles: goalsetting and mental re-
programming + easy calorie management
by Tom VenMf
techniques + cardio + weight training + social
* The importance of planning & logistics -
from managing holiday gluttony to planning
out your kitchen supplies.
* The power of social support and account-
I bought this book because I heard it was
going to contain a bunch of diet psychology
stuff. This has been a major interest of mine
(since it's not a very well-explored area) for
a while, so naturally I was stoked. I kind of
expected some kind of major new exotic
rocket sciency techniques.
The book really doesn't contain that though,
it's mostly quite standard self-help tech-
niques. Then again, what's vanilla to me is
life-changing to the guy who has never really
delved into, say, goal-setting, affirmations,
visualization, the Reticular Activation System,
self-limiting beliefs, Pareto's Principle, etc.
So r to conclude: the people who should NDT
buy this book are the guys who already have
an advanced level of knowledge about train-
ing & nutrition and who already have stacks
and stacks of self-help books.
For everyone else, it's an essential buy.
^" ■Jh.B- ■ ■ ^^B ■■ ■■■■■_■
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